Why Stop Driving?

Remember the Cake Decorator who went to the doctor. He poked himself in the kidney, and said 'Doc, it hurts when I do this!' Of course, the doctor told him to stop. So stop he did. You see, when an expert tells you that you are harming yourself, you are supposed to stop doing it.

Carbon dioxide emissions from transportation account for about a quarter of total emissions. Canadians keep our houses too cold in the summer, and too warm in the winter. We live too far from work, in houses that are too big, and we have too many coal fired gas plants. It is not as easy for us to stop these damaging practices as it is to stop poking a kidney, but it needs to be done.

The Myth of "Freezing in the Dark"

Reactionary antienvironmentists hear talk like this and make comments like 'god damn patchouli breath granola crunching tree huggers! They won't be happy until we are all unemployed and freezing in the dark.' I will break my reply to this comment:

  • patchouli breath: I don't even know what patchouli is. I doubt that you know. You probably heard Bill O'Reilly say this once. He misheard talking about repairing a quilt while he was coked out of his mind and selling used cars. Forget the patchouli.
  • granola crunching: You'll have to forgive me while I sit here not eating a dead cow. I can see how you would find that offensive.
  • Tree Hugger: I live in downtown Toronto. Any trees I see could use the affection. Just remember where that oxygen (that's some kind of clear shit you need to use a V8) comes from.
  • Unemployed: A reference to the 'inevitable economic downturn' that is the end result of moving away from an automotive based economy. I take offense to this. The idea that people can only be productive if there are people somewhere else building cars is ridiculous and lacks imagination. It also lacks faith in the individual and the community to take care of themselves.
  • Freezing in the Dark: I don't advocate a return to the middle ages. I am a fan of modern medicine, cleanliness and self determination. It is obvious that people will need to make sacrifices, but given the right combination of personal responsibility, clean energy and lifestyle change, things will be better for everybody.

Better for everybody? Are you mad?

Yes, better for everybody. Driving is boring. What fun is sitting in grid lock for an average of 63 minutes per day?

If you have not biked, walked, taken public transit and rollerbladed to work, I suggest you give each a try. Cars don't just emit carbon dioxide, they emit a range of other noxious pollutants. Over 5000 people die in Ontario every year from illness related to automotive exhaust. Cars don't just kill from afar either. 1 in 84 American deaths is in an automobile crash.

We can remove this foul influence from Our lives, and be better off for it.

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